The Emancipation of Slaves Letter from Lafayette to Washington, Cadiz, February 5, 1783

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Vocabulary: benevolence: generosity; laudable: commendable; livres: French money

Background: The Marquis de Lafayette was a young French nobleman who volunteered his service and aide during the American Revolution. He met George Washington in the summer of 1777 and went with him to Valley Forge for the winter.

The two men remained close, almost having a father/son relationship, during Washington’s lifetime.

1. What type of primary sources are these documents? _______________________________________

2. Who wrote these documents? _________________________________________________________

3. On line 2, the statement, “Now, My dear General, that You are Going to Enjoy some Ease and Quiet” is

written. How does knowing the date on line 1 help you to understand what happened before this
letter was written? Why might the General “Enjoy some Ease and Quiet”? _____________________

4. What plan is the Marquis de Lafayette proposing to George Washington? Underline evidence in the

text to support your answer. __________________________________________________________

5. In lines 10 – 15, how does George Washington respond to his request? Underline and annotate

evidence in the text to support your answer. _____________________________________________

6. The word precedent in line 11 means an act that may be used as an example. To what is this

referring exactly? How do you know? ___________________________________________________

7. What are the three best words or phrases that help you to understand the meaning of the word

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